Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent is the only major luxury line that is truly all-inclusive. Your fare covers flights, shore excursions (a good selection in each port), pre- and post-cruise hotel stays, wine and spirits (even top-shelf ones), and gratuities. Sure, there are temptations that are worth the splurge, including treatments at the excellent Canyon Ranch SpaClub, but otherwise you need to work hard to spend extra money.
What We Love
Spacious Suites: Everyone stays in an expansive suite, most with balconies and many with large bathrooms. As the price goes up, the space and amenities grow impressively. The top Regent Suite on the Seven Seas Explorer, debuting next summer, will come with a solarium plus its own spa ... for a fare of $5,000 per person, per day.
Socializing Encouraged: Early on in the cruise, you'll be asked to appear in the corridor outside your suite at 6 pm with an empty glass. Stewards serve wine, and you get to meet your neighbors. Since you'll be with the same people on ship and shore (during excursions), it's a lovely way for the line to help facilitate friendships — especially since those massive cabins don't discourage you from hiding out.
Best Known For
Understated Decor: The design here is both tasteful and subdued. The crowd, too, is fancy without being flashy. You can dress up if you want to (and many passengers do at night), but it's optional. Service is also friendly yet unobtrusive.
Special Requests Accepted: While the menus in the dining rooms, including the acclaimed steakhouse Prime 7, list plenty of great dishes, Regent has also built a reputation for fulfilling guests' culinary whims. You can even bring favorite recipes from home for the chefs to prepare.
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Who It's Best For
Worldly Older Travelers: Most passengers are age 60 and up. Younger passengers may be bored by the low-key nightlife and slow pace of some tours. Some families come on board during summer and holiday periods, when the line offers a limited array of kids' activities on select routes.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Be Prepared to See High Rates: With everything from air to shore excursions included in the cruise fare, you should expect the price to reflect what you get.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.